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Many people find it hard to squeeze exercise into their busy schedule. So, when they finally hit the gym, they want to get the most out of their workout. If you’re looking to maximize your calorie burn, it pays to know which exercises are the most effective. Keep in mind, the number of calories burned will vary based on each person’s weight, body fat percentage, age, etc. For the sake of this article, we used the average weight for men which is 197.9 pounds (89.8 kg) and 170.6 pounds. (77.4 kg) for women.

How to calculate calories burned

You can rely on websites and apps to estimate calories burned but we decided to take a more scientific approach. To calculate how many calories you’ll burn during an hour of exercise, simply multiply the activity’s MET (metabolic equivalent) value by your weight in kilograms. You can find the MET value of almost any activity using the Compendium of Physical Activities. Converting your weight to kilograms is fairly easy, too. Just Google “lbs to kg” and use the calculator that pops up. Once you have both pieces of information, multiply the figures together and that will tell you the number of calories burned.

Best calorie-burning exercises

Always take the proper safety precautions when getting involved in sports-related activities.  This means doing a warm up/cool down, stretching, staying hydrated and using the right equipment.  The last thing we want is for any of our readers to get hurt during their workout. 


MET value: 12.8

Calories burned in 1 hour: 1,149.4 for men, 990.7 for women

Even if you don’t take it up professionally, boxing is still good to learn on a basic level. For one, you’ll learn to protect yourself if need be. Plus, it’s a great way to burn major calories, relieve stress and sculpt your muscles. You’ll also develop better hand-eye coordination.

Jumping rope

MET value: 11

Calories burned in 1 hour: 987.8 for men, 851.4 for women

Jumping rope is one of the easiest ways to get a good full-body workout. Not only will you burn serious calories, you’ll also improve your coordination, increase your cardio fitness and strengthen your bones. The best part is you can take your rope anywhere, so you can squeeze in a quick workout while you’re on the go. If you want to intensify your workout and burn more calories, use a weighted jump rope.

Running 7 mph

MET value: 11

Calories burned in 1 hour: 987.8 per hour for men, 851.4 for women

Forget buying a gym membership, running burns a lot of calories and it’s free. Going for a run can help you maintain a healthy weight, keep your brain sharp and lift your spirits. A study showed that spending just 30 minutes on a treadmill was enough to improve the mood of patients suffering with major depressive disorder (MDD).

Martial arts

MET value: 10.3

Calories burned in 1 hour: 924.9 for men, 797.2 for women

Whether you decide to take up Judo, Jujitsu or any other type of martial arts, it can help you get into the best shape of your life. Key benefits include increased mobility, self-confidence and concentration. You’re also more likely to lead a healthy lifestyle.


MET value: 10

Calories burned in 1 hour: 898 for men, 774 for women

Playing soccer is a fun way to burn calories and make new friends. You’ll get a good cardio workout because most players run the equivalent of a few miles during games. Other health benefits include increased endurance, coordination and bone strength. The sport also teaches you good teamwork and sportsmanship.